Blu-Ray * Synecdoche New York * Treating New York City like a Matryoshka doll, writer, Charlie Kaufman ( Being John Malkovich, The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind ), demonstrates how being a first-time film director is like breaking into David LynchŴ�s house and making him swallow the proverbial red pill at gunpoint. The best part of this obscure, writing dastardliness, is that we get to jack-in to KaufmanŴ�s mind ( think Neo in The Matrix ) and follow along in real-time. An insipid cinematic feat.

But letŴ�s start at the beginning, forty years or so before the end of the voyage: Caden Cotard ( Philip Seymour Hoffman ) is an inexorable theater director truly bent on accomplishing greatness before he is extinguished from life. This should be easy for such an inspired man. However, he has a wife and daughter in the process of leaving him, mental issues galore, as well as a number of medical conditions that are so pungent one might wonder if paying the piper is already in CotardŴ�s deck of marked-cards. Working through his miserable existence, Cotard receives a massive grant which sets him off on a myriad of tangents in which one could never reach any true form of closure. So, setting aside his failed love affairs along side his current love aspirations, Cotard constructs a life-size replica of New York City inside of a warehouse that is nothing short of colossal in size. Within this replica of NYC - which exists in the warehouse - Cotard hires droves of doppelganger-esque actors, over decades of time, to play real New Yorkers as well as Cotard himself and everyone close to him in his non-staged life. Cotard so overly complicates his mission, efforts, inspirations and focus though, that even all of this is not nearly large enough to encompass his prophetic visions of art imitating life imitating art imitating life and thus, Warehouse B with its own NYC life-size replica ( built inside Warehouse A, inside the life-size replica of NYC ) becomes necessity. A similar theorized Warehouse C eventually looms in CotardŴ�s ever-expanding schematic but it never fully comes to fruition.

Cotard is obviously, more-or-less, KaufmanŴ�s doppelganger but a more concentric theory might be that Cotard is simply everyone. Cotard is me. Cotard is you. Cotard is Ŵ�Lil, my MotherŴ�s SisterŴ�s girl.Ŵ� Herein is the realistic truth of KaufmanŴ�s totally unrealistic venture: Synecdoche New York is the equivalent of the elaborate science project you see in the hands of that weird kid in fifth grade, that never talks to anyone because heŴ�s too busy becoming an executive at NASA. And as you realize that your own project is worthless crap, you are, albeit silently, gelidly intrigued as to what it must be like to be a rabid genius trapped inside of a frail, peculiar body. Bravo and thank you to Charlie Kaufman for putting the art back into cinema. // Review by David Paul Wyatt Perko, Surveil Magazine